Two Painted Ladies

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)

Photograph of Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) on Butterfly-bush (Buddleia davidii), taken on August 2016, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Nikon 70-300mm telephoto zoom lens.


This afternoon, after work, I was greeted by not only one Painted Lady butterfly, nor just two as pictured, but three on the same Butterfly-bush, which is quite something to see.

Painted Lady

Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)

I hadn’t seen this butterfly all year until to my delight I came home from work this afternoon and found it flying around my garden and feeding on my Buddleia. Quite a large and distinctively marked butterfly. It has a wingspan of up to 90mm.

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)

The caterpillar feeds mainly on thistles, but also mallows.

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)

It flies April to October in two or three broods. Found in almost any habitat, including parks and gardens. They breed throughout the year in North Africa and migrate in huge swarms northwards through southern Europe in the spring.  It cannot survive the winter in any form in Britain or Europe for that matter, except possibly the far south in Spain. Far ranging migrant, and very common.

Photographs of Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) on Butterfly-bush (Buddleia davidii), taken on August 2016, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Nikon 70-300mm telephoto zoom lens.

Red Admiral #2

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

Photographs of Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) on Butterfly-bush (Buddleia davidii), taken on August 2016, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Nikon 18-55mm lens.

The Bumblebee And The Buddleia

Although Buddleias can get a little out of hand in smaller gardens, I have always had one growing in a corner or two at the bottom of my small back garden. The flowers indeed attract numerous nectar loving insects, like this White-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lucorum), and butterflies, giving it one of its common names the ‘Butterfly-bush’.